One of our earliest lessons in life is identifying who is “family” and how are we
connected. Mommy, daddy, brother, sister, grandma (or in our grandson Miles’
case, “monga”), grandpa… Family is a place of belonging - nurture, affirmation,
recognition and example (helpful or not). We frequently equate family with
biological relationships but recognize that care, love, trust and loyalty are
possible without biological connections.
Family connections often transcend biology and geography. We all became
family when the tragic invasion of Sandy Hook Elementary left us grieving for
children and parents on the other side of the country. We all became parents of
a young gay man when Matthew Shepherd was beaten to death by hate and
ignorance. Over the past few weeks we have all become kin to the over 200
young women in Nigeria, who were abducted.
“Bring Our Girls Back” is an affirmation of kinship. These girls are “Our Girls”
our family, our children.
But a tragic event isn’t required to act on the familial bond we share beyond our
doors. We don’t need to wait for a newspaper headline or a #moving-story, to
remind us to care for our nephews and nieces, grandparents and cousins in
Christ. Opportunities to “be family” unfold every day.
In our practice of worship, we lift up one season for celebrating the “Festival of
the Christian Home.” Yet being a home that reflects Christ's love is a 365-day-a-year adventure. It is the community in which we begin to discover that we all belong to a challenging, gifted and amazing "kin-dom".